Fourth of July: Things to Know about American Independence Day Plus 4 Ways to Celebrate it When Hurricane Arthur/ Rains Strike

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By jaskiran kaur | July 4, 2014 12:58 PM EST

The Fourth of July is the day when Americans submerge in the spirit of celebration. It is the day when all Americans celebrate the day their country was declared independent. The United States of America was officially declared free from the Kingdom of Great Britain (United Kingdom) on July 4, 1776.

REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
Megan O'Niell and Jackie Pugsley (R) snap a selfie with an American flag-clad phone as officials prepare to celebrate Independence Day a day early in Boston, Massachusetts, July 3, 2014. The celebrations were moved for the first time since 1992 due to the developments of Hurricane Arthur on the U.S. east coast.

Fourth of July is a national holiday and it is celebrated by different kinds of patriotic displays. The celebration includes fireworks, public events and speeches by leaders of the country. Families celebrate it by hosting family get-togethers, barbeque parties, picnics and more.  

However, July 4, is not the actual day when America's Independence was formally declared. The event occurred on July 2, 1776. The writers of the declaration wrote the document in another two days. The official text declaring independence (Declaration of Independence) of 13 colonies from Great Britain was signed by all the members only on Aug 2, 1776.

The Fourth of July also marks the death anniversary of two Presidents of the United States. Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who also happen to be the signers of Declaration of Independence, died on July 4, 1826. The year they died marked 50 years of freedom after the declaration was signed. Four years later, in 1831 another U.S. President James Monroe died on the day.  

For several years after the independence people did not celebrate the day much. Over the years, parties worked towards making people familiar to the significance of the day. It was only 100 years after when Congress declared July 4 to be a national holiday. But until 1938 it was an unpaid leave for federal employees. In this year, changes were made to the bill and Fourth of July was declared paid federal holiday.

Bristol Fourth of July Parade held in Bristol in the year 1785 is the oldest Independence Day celebration in the country. The parade has been 4th of July tradition to date.  

In Philippines, 4th of July is celebrated as Republic Day. In 1946, the country stopped being a territory of the U.S. and was officially declared independent. Until 1962, this day was celebrated as Philippines' Independence Day. However, in 1964 it was changed to Republic Day.

4th of July is observed as Rwanda Liberation Day that marks the end of Rwanda Genocide in 1994.

Country's 30th President, Calvin Coolidge was the only president to be born on this day. Some other important personalities celebrating their birthday on Fourth of July are Nobel Prize winner, economist and mathematician Gerard Debreu and Olympic gold medalist tennis player Pamela Howard Shriver.

Unfortunately, most parts of United States of America will be hit by Hurricane Arthur this year. But don't let the rains ruin the day of celebration. Outdoor barbeque and fireworks may not be possible on this day, but there are other things one can do to celebrate the day and the long weekend. Here are few things to do on rainy 4th of July.

Host a Potluck: Invite people who stay nearby and have a fun potluck party. While enjoying the evening with friends, food and drinks, the day can be quite special. Keeping it simple and easy, allot different food categories to friends. Hot dogs, potato salads, baked beans, ribs and hamburgers can all be prepared indoors. As for kids, give them a separate space but keep them close and safe.

Host a Movie Marathon: Collect family's favourite movies and play them back to back while enjoying a supper with the loved ones. Watching some patriotic movies with family on this day is also a good idea.

Red, Blue and White: Spend the day with kids doing some interesting craftwork. Create some American flags and other red, white and blue decorative items to decorate the house.

Tell Stories about Independence: Fourth of July is great day to talk about some historical events to the kids. It's a great opportunity to educate kids about this glorious day and the history behind it. Brush up your facts and sit together to share some knowledge about American Independence Day.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Dominick Reuter / )
Megan O'Niell and Jackie Pugsley (R) snap a selfie with an American flag-clad phone as officials prepare to celebrate Independence Day a day early in Boston, Massachusetts, July 3, 2014. The celebrations were moved for the first time since 1992 due to the developments of Hurricane Arthur on the U.S. east coast.
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